My no-bear bear baiting experience

That’s right…no bear. There’s a bear or two around but they aren’t coming to the barrel.

We set up the tree stand and barrel on July 27, the first day baiting was allowed. Taylor held the ladder in place while Steve climbed to the top to secure the seat to the tree. He trimmed a few branches in the process.

The seat is 15′ high. The legs sank 2′ into the ground. A stability bar is clamped to the ladder on one end and rests firmly against the tree on the other. While they set up the stand I chained the barrel to the tree, added bait and placed the logs in the opening. I pitched in to help stabilize the ladder while Steve did the pruning.

The raccoon hasn’t been back. The cow moose has been down the trail behind the tree stand. No bears. I found scat one-half mile from the barrel a couple of weeks ago and got excited. It was the first sign of a bear in the area I’d found. The bear had been eating a lot of sarsaparilla berries. There’s a lot of food out there right now. Sarsaparilla, raspberry, blackberry and apples are available along with everything else they eat. Friends have pics of bears sniffing their barrels and walking away.

The view from my tree stand. I walk in on the left. The trail continues to the right and forms a Y. There’s a trail behind the stand.

This is the view over my right shoulder.

I thought I had all my bases covered, and then coyote hunters showed up. I met them on their way in to dump bait. “I have a bear bait up there on the left…” I explained. Told them exactly where it is. They chose to dump their bait close to the barrel. It stinks. It’s disgusting. The vultures circle, the odor comes in on the breeze, the coyotes feast on the bait. I’m hunting there with the landowner’s permission. I’ve spent a lot of time walking this area in search of bites (on trees), hair, tracks, scat…something… Then they show up without any respect for the time and work I’ve put in, bring coyotes into the area, and will go home when their vacation ends.

Next week will be better. Next week will be better. Next week…will be better.

Robin Follette

About Robin Follette

Maine Press Association award winner, 2013. Robin's Outdoors, Bangor Daily News, third place in Sports blogs. I grew up with a fishing pole in my hand and have always loved the outdoors. From gardening to hunting and fishing, kayaking, camping, hiking and foraging, most of my time is spent outdoors. I teach outdoor skills as a volunteer instructor for Hooked On Fishing - Not On Drugs and Becoming an Outdoors-Woman. Pro-staff at The Limb Grip. My personal blog is here. I'm currently working on my first book, a collection of short stories based on my outdoors experiences.